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Driving into a Truck

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The Getaway Driver or top secret spy car needs to evade his pursuers, and/or make a pit stop for emergency repairs while on the run. What to do if police cars are combing every street?

Why, drive up into the back of a conveniently waiting 18-wheeler semi-, of course! Then you can sneak past your pursuers, Right Under Their Noses! Often the truck trailer will contain a complete auto shop. Sometimes a bus, airplane or other large vehicle will be used instead.

When the truck is moving, the main difficulty of course is the speed difference between the truck's ramp and the road. The Mythbusters, once again, have shown that this is possible, even demonstrating the trope with a car and a truck. SCIENCE!  Still, it goes without saying that this is not something you should try at home.

Common to spy thriller shows that put Rule of Cool before realism and meticulously-planned Caper Crew heists. When the truck is trying to force you to drive into its cargo area (or is driving into you with a big, open door), see Mega-Maw Maneuver. Marginally related to Punk in the Trunk (in the sense of stowing away in another vehicle). Not to be confused with simply plowing into one and crashing your car.

Even though there's hundreds of cops looking for the car, and roadblocks are checking every vehicle, distracted police fail to check inside that big truck or look under the tarp of a flatbed trailer. In the variant where the car is hidden under a tarp on a flatbed, this is Paper-Thin Disguise.


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  • A Chevy "American Revolution" commercial features a car carrier truck driving around with its ramp down, and Chevys drive up behind it and then up onto it.
  • This BP Australia commercial.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman fought a one-shot villain called the Racer, who would make getaways in a customized high-speed racecar, and then seemingly vanish. It turns out he was driving his car into a moving van once out of sight of the witnesses.
  • Robin (1993): Tim Drake once chased and caught some thieves whose elaborate getaway included driving their car into the back of a truck during a brief moment while they were out of sight.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Air America. The protagonists crash a cargo plane on a jungle runway. Later when they're being pursued, they land the smaller airplane they're flying on the same runway and taxi it straight into the cargo bay of the previous aircraft, ripping its wings off but concealing them from the helicopters searching for them.
  • Implied to have happened in The Cannonball Run (which is to say, we don't actually see it happening). JJ and Victor's car (dressed up like an ambulance) is stopped in line at a roadblock which is set up specifically to catch and arrest Cannonballers. While waiting in line JJ spots a semi with an empty flatbed. Cut to a shot of the semi & flatbed with some large, ambulance-shaped object under a tarp. They sneak by the roadblock under there.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Lord Scrumptious is captured by being tricked, Looney Tunes-style, into driving up into the back of a truck.
  • An unintentional version happens during a car chase in The '80s cop film Collision Course. In a subversion, the car smashes through the front of the truck instead of stopping.
  • After the gang pulls off the Armed Blag at the start of Diamonds on Wheels, the drive the hijacked armoured van into the back of a waiting truck and drive off.
  • In Fast Five, they use two cars and a chain to slide a container into a truck.
  • In Goodbye Pork Pie, Gerry, John and Shirl escape the Wellington railway yards by driving the Mini into a boxcar being shunted towards the Interislander ferry.
  • Used in The Gumball Rally to evade a police roadblock and make a pit stop.
  • At the end of Hoffa (1992), union boss Jimmy Hoffa is shot in his car, which is driven into the back of a tractor-trailer (in a moment of Dramatic Irony, given Hoffa's efforts to improve the working conditions of truck drivers) which then drives off with the evidence.
  • The Hot Rock: After breaking Greenberg out of prison, Murch drives the getaway car into the back of a truck sitting with a fleet of other trucks. They then stay in the back of the truck till six the next morning, and drive off with the rest of the trucks.
  • Hudson Hawk. The ambulance carrying Eddie and Tommy Five-Tone away from the Mayflowers drives up a ramp into a truck.
  • The original The Italian Job (1969) is probably the Trope Maker. In the film, three Mini Coopers make their getaway by driving up into the back of a converted bus. The 2003 remake does this with a boxcar.
  • The League of Gentlemen. During The Caper, the robbers park a furniture truck near the bank and push out a wooden ramp. The car holding the loot drives up the ramp only to get stuck halfway, and everyone has to get in behind and push. This is all covered by a smokescreen, but unfortunately before this happened a kid with a hobby of collecting license plates wrote down the furniture truck's number, which ends up unraveling the entire plan.
  • In The Living Daylights, a "Jeep" evades pursuers by driving onto the lowered rear door of a taxiing C-130.
  • Never Say Never Again. While James Bond is riding a motorcycle the enemy Mooks force him to ride up a ramp into a truck so he can be captured. However, as the ramp is rising up to trap him he guns it and jumps the motorcycle over the ramp and out of the truck.
  • In Serenity, the Mule escapes the Reavers by driving up the ramp into Serenity.
  • Done similarly in Smokey and the Bandit, where the sheriff's car jumps off the side of an berm and lands on a flatbed truck.
  • Inverted in The Soldier. After ambushing a Vulnerable Convoy, the villains then drive a car out of the truck they arrived in and drive off in it.
  • Son of a Gun: After losing the police, Chris drives the getaway car into the back of the truck he uses to transport his speedway car.
  • In Speed Zone, a speeder calls for help to a trucker hauling a empty car carrier when being pursued by a state cop. The trucker agrees. With some fancy driving the speeder loses the cop by driving aboard the car carrier... or so he thinks. The speeder unexpectedly gets a tap on his window, and the cop is there asking him for his license and registration. (Its implied that the cop has driven aboard the car carrier also.) The speeder gets out of the ticket because the truck hasn't stopped, and they all cross a state line, so the cop is now out of his jurisdiction.
  • One of the female main characters in The Stabilizer is captured by the bad guys when they ram her car into a back of a truck with an another truck.
  • The Argo Jeep and a cargo shuttlecraft play this role in Star Trek: Nemesis. Picard even drives the Argo over a cliff in order to park it in the shuttle.
  • Done in the first Taxi movie by the German bank robbers. They drive in a truck, paint their cars a different color and flee under the police's nose.
  • In The Transporter, the Martin drives off a bridge onto a moving car carrier, landing on a conveniently empty spot, then knocks off the car behind him and backs off the truck.

  • A similar trick is pulled on Commander Shaw in one of the novels of Philip McCutcheon.
  • In the James Bond novel Role of Honour by John Gardner, Bond is abducted when mercenaries from Erewhon herd his car behind a truck, which then drops its back door, and Bond has no choice but to drive in.
  • In The Impossible Virgin, a Modesty Blaise novel, Modesty and Willie pull off a Steal the Surroundings heist that nets them a large safe and part of the wall it was built into, which they load into the back of a van and drive away. A few minutes later they rendezvous in an underpass with a large removal truck, driving the van up into the back of the truck, which then proceeds innocently on its way.
  • The Stainless Steel Rat. At the beginning of the first novel Slippery Jim diGriz steals an armored car full of money and drives it into a truck to escape the police.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The cliffhanger at the end of season 1 of Burn Notice has Michael Westen doing this to make contact with the mysterious Carla.
  • In the CHiPs reunion movie, this turns out to be the MO of a car theft ring.
  • One of the stunt challenges on Fear Factor required the participants to drive a car up the ramp of a moving truck as the last part of the challenge. Inside the truck was a ramp that would flip the car and send it flying out the side of the truck for a spectacular movie-style ending.
  • Doctor Who. In "The Invasion", the Doctor and Jaime are snatched off the street by two men driving an expensive car. Instead of being taken to the Big Bad, they're driven to an airport runway and up the access ramp of a Hercules transport aircraft, where the Doctor meets his old ally Lethbridge-Stewart and the newly-formed United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. This was back when UNIT was presented as an intelligence agency instead of a Redshirt Army, hence the more 'James Bond' approach.
  • The IT Crowd: In "Are We Not Men?", Roy unwittingly becomes the wheelman for a gang of bank robbers. After the robbery, the leader has Roy drive into the back of a waiting lorry. The gang then sits there till the heat is off and the police have dispersed.
  • Jake and the Fatman: Jake does this in "Rhapsody in Blue" when he stages a 'kidnapping' of a pair of suspects as part of plan to convince them he is a high ranking mob figure.
  • Knight Rider is the Trope Codifier, using KITT's mobile support unit The Rook.
    • Inverted in an episode where they're up against a gang of truck hijackers. KITT drives out of the truck instead, in a Trojan Horse ploy.
    • Played with by Team Knight Rider and Knight Rider version 2 (2008), where it's a C-130 cargo plane instead.
  • The Magician: In "Illusion of Black Gold", the Girl of the Week drives Tony's car into the back of a large truck, which turns out to be the mobile office of the reclusive billionaire Tony has been trying to locate.
  • Monk: "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist" opens with an armored car being hijacked this way. The thieves stops a semi truck at a red light, and deploys ramps while training guns on the armored car drivers. Then another robber comes up from behind the armored car with a garbage truck and shoves it into the back of the semi.
  • Mythbusters did it once, to see if it was really doable or just Hollywood magic. It is really doable in either direction. The reason it works is because when the car hits the ramp, its inertia keeps it moving at the same speed, forcing the tires (whether they are connected to the drive train or not) to quickly slow down.
  • Person of Interest. When Samaritan agents finally locate Sameen Shaw, Root rescues her on a motorbike and they drive into the back of a furniture-moving truck (the removalists are unaware of this) to hide from Samaritan's all-pervasive surveillance. Later Detective Fusco pulls over the truck on some pretext in an area not monitored by CCTV cameras, and lets them out.
  • Inverted in The Professionals. In "Where the Jungle Ends", a group of mercenaries steal plutonium from a nuclear waste facility, fleeing in a truck that they drive off into the woods. They then drop the tailgate and roll out several motorbikes, riding off cross-country with the plutonium in lead containers on their backs.

    Video Games 
  • Driver: San Francisco featured one during a mission where you help two CIA agents in trouble with the police. The final part of the mission involved driving into a truck, AEGIS, at which point the ECM-suite would cover them up. Another mission also involved having to return several stolen vintage cars into trucks, although only one was actually moving.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:
    • One mission has you do this with a moving plane while being shot at by the MIB (who may or may not be aliens).
    • One heist preparation mission has you drive around Las Venturas stealing police motorcycles. You then meet up on the freeway with a ramp truck outfitted to store them and drive up to secure them (why a saner or more discreet method wasn't used is kind of beside the point).
  • Can be done several times in Grand Theft Auto V, depending on which heist options you go with. At one point, Trevor also pulls an aerial variant of this by flying a crop duster into a cargo plane.
  • In the first Sonic Riders, there is a parked truck by the side of the road in the Metal City racetrack. Power characters can get inside and punch through the truck to reveal a shortcut.
  • In the Goat Simulator level of PAYDAY 2, this is how you escape on both days.
  • In Spy Hunter, this is how you get your power-ups.

    Western Animation 
  • Stan Smith from American Dad! pulls off one at the episode Tears of a Clooney. To get rid of George Clooney's bodyguards on motor cycles he drives in front of them with a truck and brakes. After that he proceeds to ship them out of country. Clooney thinks it's Actually Pretty Funny.
  • Inverted in one episode of Batman: The Animated Series: A criminal named Lock-Up has a truck with robotic arms inside that grabs cars and pulls them inside it.